An alligator has been filmed running across a golf course in Florida with a huge fish in its mouth.
The footage was taken by Mike Murphy, who was playing a round of golf at the Tara Golf & Country Club in Bradenton on January 7. “Playing golf today … had to allow a gator to cross before we could finish the hole. Notice the big fish in his mouth,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
The clip, which lasts just over one minute 20 seconds, shows the alligator emerging from one pond and strolling along the golf course with the fish hanging from its mouth. In the video, a woman can be heard saying: “Where do you think you’re going,” adding that the alligator is “so prehistoric.”
As Murphy and his fellow golfers follow the alligator in their buggy, the gator can be seen speeding up to a run to cross the path. It then slows down and makes its way into another pond to enjoy its meal.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission estimates there to be 1.3 million alligators in Florida.
Alligators often turn up on golf courses as they provide a safe habitat with plenty of prey.
In his masters thesis, Eli Beal, from the University of North Florida, examined the stomach contents of alligators on golf courses on Jekyll Island, Georgia, to establish what they were eating at these locations.
Beal’s findings showed the alligators on the golf courses were well fed, with all 25 surveyed, except one, having full stomachs. They were found to be predominantly eating fish, insects or arachnids and crustaceans, with these making up 95 percent of their stomach contents.
Alligators living on golf courses are also known to fight one another. In May 2020, Matthew Proffitt filmed two huge alligators fighting on the fairway on a South Carolina course. Proffitt, who was playing at the Hilton Head Lakes golf course, said the fight went on for around two hours. In the video, which can be viewed here, one alligator can be seen with its jaws clapped around the other alligator’s top jaw.
In the video, the alligators can be heard making grunting sounds as they thrash around.
“They would lay still for a few minutes, with their jaws locked on each other, and then try to roll or shake,” he told Storyful at the time.
A Facebook post from the Hilton Head Lakes golf course, which originally shared the footage, said: “Sudden death playoff on the 18 yesterday! Keep your eyes open out there, the course is full of wildlife!”
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